Canadian Studies

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The MacOdrum Library is located on the unceded territories of the Algonquin nation. Use this guide to begin your research and consult Martha Attridge Bufton, who can help you find the materials you need to complete your assignments.

Meet Martha Attridge Bufton in the following video.

Pick a research topic

  • Read your syllabus (assignment instructions).
  • Pick a topic that interests you and meets the assignment instructions.
  • Narrow or broaden the scope of your topic so that it is "doable."
    • What's scope? Scope refers to the "people, places and things" or "who, what, when and where" that you are studying. For example, Canada or another country? Children or adults? Education or child protection services?

Identify key concepts

Do an initial search for academic sources

Google Doc for Al's class

Popular versus academic sources (what's the difference?) and the peer review process

Test your knowledge:

Play Sources: Level 1 
Play Sources: Level 2 

Searching tips: Truncation and phrase searching

Find peer-reviewed journal articles on a variety of topics

These databases have significant Canadian content:

Databases for heritage conservation 

Other databases

  • Google Scholar (provides access to scholarly literature from many disciplines and sources including peer reviewed articles)


  • Finding and using images: a Carleton University library guide (including how to cite images in your projects and presentations)

Open access journals

Heritage conservation archival publications

Recommended peer-review journals in our library collection

Some publications are available either only in print or online. Others are available in both formats. Check UlrichsWeb for more information about individual journals.

Find books

In the search field on the library home page, use keywords to find books and ebooks (i.e., use your key concepts to search for relevant materials). You can limit your results by clicking on the Books/ebooks filter in the left-hand navigation. 

Here is a small sample of some library ebooks related to Canadian studies:

Here is a small sample of some ebook collections relevant to Canadian studies:

Dictionaries, encyclopedias and handbooks are a good place to find short definitions and introductions to key concepts.




Use your library account to save searches

  • Save your favorite searches for easy reference so that you can run these searches on demand.
  • Receive email search alerts when material has been added to the collection matching your preferred searches.


  •     Log into your library account and search the catalogue. Click on the Save Search option to save a search.
  •     Return to your account.
  •     Click on the Saved Searches button to view your preferred search list. If no Saved Searches button displays, you have not yet saved any searches.
  •     To receive alerts when new material arrives, click on Mark for Email.
  •     To run the search on demand, use the link in the Search column.
  •     To remove searches from your list, use the boxes in the Mark to Remove column , and then click on "update list."

Find government policies

  1. Find government information online using the library's customized Google search. 
  2. Canadian Heritage.  Click on "Cultural diversity and rights" in the left-hand menu, then "Human Rights" and then "Canada's Reports to the UN" (middle section of the page) for reports that detail government policies and activities (federal and provincial) related to a number of important international treaties such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
  3. Employment and Social Development Canada.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "publications and resources" for audits, evaluations and other departmental reports.
  4. Office of the Auditor General of Canada.  The OAG publishes reports that evaluation government policies and programs.  
  5. Library of Parliament of Canada.  The library produces publications on policy issues.
  6. Search the Canadian Government Policy Cycle subject guide.  
  7. Search both the Canadian Research Index and the Canadian Public Policy Collection (specialized databases).
  8. Search our catalogue:  Do a keyword search and choose "government documents" for the location of the materials.

A short list of Canadian federal departments and agencies

Canadian legislation

Department of Justice

Other federal and provincial legislation

International legislation

United Kingdom

United States



Find data at the Carleton University library's Data Centre.




 Use our Citing your sources page to link to our APA guide, instructional videos and more.

Content last updated: September 26, 2019